30 gallon merc tank

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by puffer guy, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. puffer guy

    puffer guy Cuttlefish Registered

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    so i didnt know were to post this so if this is not the right spot please move it. anyway i have debating on how to setup a octo tank and i think i found a good setup to start with. a 29 gallon long tank with a protein skimmer and a canister filter or a sump ( which is better) in it i want to put two mercs. is this a good setup will it work and what am i missing
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If you don't mind drilling (or having the tank drilled) and adding some kind of overflow box, a sump is by far the better way to go for filtration. If you have the tank drilled, lower the hole about a half an inch below the standard drill positioning to allow air space at the top. This little extra tank space without water is helpful in keeping the octopuses inside the tank. If this was not for an octo tank, I would suggest using a sump when you can for both asthetics and ease of maintenance. Even with a small sump you add just a little more water and octo proofing becomes much simpler since your skimmer will be in the sump. There are a variety of sump options but I use a very, very simple set up with mine. In stead of an official sump box configuration, I use a standard aquarium tank, run the tank water to a 7" (called both 7" and 8" but they are the same) diameter filter sock and place a bag of charcoal in the sock. I rinse my charcoal weekly (I actually keep two bags and swap them each week, rinsing the dirty one and putting it in clean RO water for a week). This kind of open sump gives a nice surface area for a cooling fan if you need it and a safe place for a heater in the cooler months.

    One thing you don't mention is your water source. You will need RO/DI or distilled water for both your salt mix and your freshwater top offs.

    You need live rock (30-50 pounds) and I recommend at least one cluster of giant purple barnacle shells for a merc tank (to increase the likelyhood one will choose it for a viewable den).

    You will want a red light for night viewing. No other light is needed for a nocturnal tank so if you can replace the current lights with a red bulb, that will work. Unfortunately, if the set up you are looking at has a light fixture, it is likely a fluorescent tube and I am unaware of any in red.
     
  3. puffer guy

    puffer guy Cuttlefish Registered

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    i cant really drill the tank. i have the rock. where do i get the red light and purple barnacle shells. i want to buy an ro/di unit where can i find a good one. is the tank big enough for two mercs.
     
  4. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I do believe a 30 gallon is big enough to hold a few mercs... like 4 I think but somebody is sure to come by with a better answer. I prefer a sump personally... that way you can keep things in it like a heater, protein skimmer and anything else you might want.
     
  5. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I would look at getting a new tank that is drillable. You could use the current tank as the sump. You can get the baffles cut at a local glass shop cheap.

    It's a bad idea in any saltwater tank to have the skimmer, heater, grounding probe and whatever else you need in the display. They are serious eyesores and limit your space.
     
  6. puffer guy

    puffer guy Cuttlefish Registered

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    can i do the sump without drilling the tank its drillible but it has water in it i would just have to take the water out.
     
  7. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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  8. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    You can get an overflow http://cgi.ebay.com/Aquarium-overfl...679?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c57c28457

    Basically you have the over flow on one side it siphons water from the tank to the sump, goes through the sump and is feed back to the tank with a return pump. You will need to cover the hole from the return so that they cant get up into it but still allow water to flow through. A very small what light over the over flow will keep the mercs out of that part.
     
  9. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Ah capt beat me too the punch.
     
  10. puffer guy

    puffer guy Cuttlefish Registered

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    ok thanks does anbody have a good diy sump blue print or something. and if i have that do i need a canister filter
     
  11. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    No the sump will have a wet/dry filter that eliminates the canister filter.
     
  12. puffer guy

    puffer guy Cuttlefish Registered

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    does anyone no were i can get a good ro/di? unit for cheap. and some good sump blueprints
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am a big KISS fan (not the band :wink:), especially when it comes to sumps. I place a mesh bag of charcoal inside the sock for my only chemical filtration, use enough live rock to handle my biological filtration, the sock to remove particulates and the skimmer to remove protein. There is a fan to cool in the summer and a heater for winter temperatures. I have or have had most of the semi-common setups and like this design far more than any other for both versatility and maintenance.

    The standard commercial 7" 100 micron filter sock (the 4" block quickly. I recommend the 7inch size even for a small system) is suspended using everyday pvc pipe and 4 90 degree elbows. In this case it hangs over a center brace but it can easily be placed over the tank wall by turning on of the U shaped end 180 degrees (and is configured that way on another sump). The drain hose from the overflow is placed inside the bag far enough not to splash water outside the tank but shallow enough to expose the water to air before it reaches the sump water level (this one is drilled and the water comes through a bulkhead in the back but the tubing from the overflow can simply be placed inside the sock).
    Most skimmers can be placed inside or out side a tank. I prefer to have them inside in case they overflow or leak. You can also see that I use a simple clip on fan to cool the tank in the summer. If you look closely, you can see the heater (I moved it to try to get it in the picture) is also accomodated nicely.

    This is a minimum setup. Now imagine all this stuff in your display tank. Not only do you have to octoproof around it but it is disruptive to enjoying the esthetics.

    All that being said, you can keep a pair of mercs in a smaller tank and use a combined cascading filter skimmer if you will lower the water level, place 2" lip around the top edge and do heavy weekly water changes. The advantage of the larger tank is safer water quality and smaller water changes but it does need proper filtration for the tank size.
     

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  14. puffer guy

    puffer guy Cuttlefish Registered

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    what size of tank is that sump and what size of tank does it lead into because i have a 10 gallon sitting around will that work
     
  15. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Decide on what skimmer you want and find out the footprint size. If it can fit in a 10g you can probably make that work.
     
  16. puffer guy

    puffer guy Cuttlefish Registered

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    where do you get the mesh bag of charcol
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    A 10 gallon should work albeit tightly and you may have to (as corpusse suggests) put only the skimmer pump inside if the skimmer is too large (many skimmer bodies can be put in or outside) but I think the Coralife I have in the photo would fit in a 10 and still allow the 7" filter sock (atleast I hope it will. I am going to have to use a 10 for Monty's tank because of the stand height, I had planned on using a 25). The sump in the photo is 35ish gallon and was the primary display until we upgraded to a 65ish tank.

    I buy mesh bags (I like a fairly large mesh with a zipper (like this) but a velcro closure will work, do not get drawstring bags) and charcoal and put the charcoal in the bag, rinsing and replacing as part of your maintenance routine. You want charcoal made from coal, not coconut or wood. The coal charcoal is often marked for aquariums but check what it is made from before buying. Getting the pelletized helps reduce dust (you have to rinse it regardless) and is supposed to have more exposed surface are because it does not pack down when wet). I keep two for each tank and rotate them (rinsing well each week and letting them sit in RO water) and replace the charcoal about once every two months.
     
  18. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    go to bulkreefsupply.com

    you can buy a big bucket of activated carbon. the rox .08 carbon is by far the cleanest I've ever seen. Does not cloud the water at all even without rinsing. dwhatley you might want to try it too. I use this stuff in my reef tank. In my other tanks I've never felt the need to run carbon but if you're going to run it one of their media reactors is very handy. It's more expensive then a mesh bag but the flow hitting the carbon is much steadier and you get better use out of it.
     
  19. puffer guy

    puffer guy Cuttlefish Registered

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    wer do u get that
     
  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the link corpusse and I do need to order carbon soon but compared them with the new offering by drsfosterandsmith and I have to go with their pricing even if the bulkreefsupply has a better product the difference for my use would not be noticable.
     

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